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Motorola: Moto X sells at profit; custom orders 'substantial'

The Flextronics plant in Texas could crank out "tens of millions" of phones per year, CEO says. At the moment, 100,000 Moto X units are leaving the plant each week.

Moto X production facility run by Flextronics
Eric Mack/CNET

The new Moto X smartphone is shipping out of Motorola's Texas manufacturing facility at a modest clip, but it's at least turning a profit on every handset sold, the company's CEO Dennis Woodside revealed Wednesday.

Speaking to Reuters in an interview published today, Woodside said that his company is currently selling Moto X handsets at a profit. In addition, custom orders for the Moto X are proving "substantial," Woodside said, though he declined to provide a breakdown of custom orders versus standard models.

Flextronics, the company operating the Moto X manufacturing facility, is shipping just 100,000 Moto X units per week, CNET reported Tuesday from the Fort Worth plant. According to Woodside, that's precisely where his company wants to be.

"When you set up to ramp a factory you need a plan, and we have shipment targets we need to make with our carrier partners, and where we need to be right now is 100,000 units and that's where we are," Woodside told Reuters.

If the demand is there for the Moto X, Woodside said, the Texas facility could rev up production to "tens of millions" of phones a year. The current volume of 100,000 units a week puts Motorola on pace for 5.2 million units annually.

Flextronics started producing the Moto X in large quantities in early August, the company told CNET. The device is notable for being produced in the US, unlike the vast majority of smartphones, which are typically produced in Asia.

According to Flextronics CEO Mike McNamara, his company's Texas facility pays workers between $12 and $14 per hour -- a far cry from the $4-per-hour workers make in China. Still, Motorola was able to offset the higher labor cost with reduction in shipping time and other logistics costs, the company told Reuters.

Still, just because Motorola is selling its handset at a profit and it's shipping out 100,000 units per week, it doesn't mean all of those devices are being sold to consumers.

This story has been updated throughout the morning.

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